Almost two weeks removed from being snubbed, the Florida A&M University Rattler football players have nothing to hang their heads about.
The Rattlers reward for beating three teams ranked higher than them in the Black College Football Poll was a trip home for an early off season vacation.
After running over arch-revival Bethune-Cookman University in their annual classic match-up and finishing out the season with nine wins and three losses, the Rattlers soon found out nine wins this year wasn’t enough to secure a berth in the NCAA playoffs.
The Rattlers’ resume also included quality wins over Tennessee State and Grambling State.
Both of these teams were also positioned ahead of FAMU in the polls, including B-CU also, but still the Rattlers were overlooked.
The lone representative from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference chosen to represent in the playoffs was South Carolina State.
I’m not saying the Bulldogs didn’t deserve to go, but a FAMU team that improved by six wins in the “W” column from last year to this one… a FAMU team that also has legendary coach Joe Taylor at the helm… and a FAMU team that has the “explosiveness” of such players like a LeRoy Vann, Curtis Pulley, Kevin Elliot and others… definitely earned the right to accompany them.
SCSU did go undefeated in conference with a perfect eight wins and zero losses and more than held their own against three-time defending champion Appalachian State University, before losing 37 to 21 to them on last Saturday.
But I guess the Rattlers three blemishes on the season really came back to hurt them in the end. If they hadn’t suffered losses to Delaware State, SCSU and Morgan State… I don’t think the conversation of them being “left out” on Selection Sunday would even be an ongoing debate right now.
The loss to the Bulldogs probably wasn’t the deciding factor as much, being that they were league champion, but the losses to underachieving DSU and a crucial home loss to MSU, more than definitely severed the postseason dreams.
All three of the losses, although close, could have all easily been victories.
Well with a team that only had four seniors on it, there’s no doubt in my mind that with a great recruiting class and the highly-athletic tier of players they have returning, the Rattlers will definitely return next year better and stronger.
There’s no crying over spilt milk. The team won its most games since the 2000 season, finished second in the MEAC… the same conference they were predicted to finish sixth in the preseason rankings, and steam rolled many opponents.
To me that equals success.
All I can say is, “Brace yourselves Rattlers, the forecast calls for sunny skies in the future.”